S&P 500, Dow fall on J&J vaccine worries; tech gains prop up Nasdaq
By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 fell on Tuesday after a four-day winning streak as a pause in Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 trial triggered concerns about the timing of a vaccine, although a rally in technology shares supported the Nasdaq. Johnson & Johnson shed 2% as it said it would take 'a few days' to review its halted clinical trial following an unexplained illness in a study participant, possibly delaying results on one of the most closely watched efforts to contain the global pandemic
By Medha Singh and Shivani Kumaresan
(Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 fell on Tuesday after a four-day winning streak as a pause in Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 trial triggered concerns about the timing of a vaccine, although a rally in technology shares supported the Nasdaq.
Johnson & Johnson shed 2% as it said it would take "a few days" to review its halted clinical trial following an unexplained illness in a study participant, possibly delaying results on one of the most closely watched efforts to contain the global pandemic.
The S&P healthcare index slipped from a record high hit in the prior session and weighed on broader markets as vaccines are seen critical to stopping the pandemic, which has driven the economy to its worst recession in decades.
Some of the worst-hit companies due to the pandemic - cruise line operators Carnival Corp, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and hotel operator Wynn Resorts Ltd - fell between 3% and 7%.
The J&J news is "an excruciating reminder of the difficulties that the coronavirus has brought on the economy," said Eric Schiffer, chief executive officer of private equity firm Patriarch Organization.
Adding to the negative tone, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected President Donald Trump's latest offer on COVID-19 stimulus, the latest sign that a bipartisan deal on coronavirus relief remains unlikely ahead of the November election.
Hopes of more U.S. fiscal aid and a rally in tech heavyweights led stocks higher on Monday, bringing the benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq within 2% of their record highs hit in September after a pullback last month.
Apple Inc slipped 1.1% ahead of a virtual event starting 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) where it is widely expected to unveil four new iPhone models.
Amazon.com Inc shares, which have already surged 86% this year, added 1% as the company began 48 hours of promotions as part of "Prime Day" in an early start to the holiday shopping season.
Kicking off third-quarter earnings season, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup surpassed analyst estimates for quarterly profit on a surge in trading revenue.
However, Citi's results underscored deeper troubles in its consumer bank that struggled with a decline in customers and spending, sending its shares down 4%. JPMorgan was also down 1.1%, while the S&P 500 bank index shed 2%.
Overall, analysts expect third-quarter earnings for S&P 500 firms to slide 19.6% from a year earlier, smaller than a 31% tumble in the prior quarter.
At 12:28 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.35% at 28,735.90 and the S&P 500 was down 0.31% at 3,523.23. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.16% at 11,894.92.
Boeing Co dropped 2% as it lost another three orders for its grounded 737 MAX jet in September and delivered half the number of aircraft from the same month a year earlier.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.33-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.64-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 36 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 94 new highs and eight new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengalurua and Shivani Kumaresan; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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